When City Elections Were Fun
Lee Siegel writes:
IN 1969, in the midst of devastating strikes, rising racial conflict, sinking finances, terrifying crime rates and an expanding, dysfunctional city bureaucracy, the pugilistic writer Norman Mailer made a quixotic bid for mayor of New York. The columnist Jimmy Breslin campaigned alongside him for City Council president. Far from being a gimmick, the pair electrified the electorate with bold plans and even bolder political theatrics.
“People,” Mailer said, explaining his plan to harmonize the city’s neighborhoods into self-ruling municipalities, “are healthier if they live out their prejudices rather than suppressing them in uniformity.” Imagine any of the current candidates talking like that.